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Indy launches $1.2 million summer tourism campaign in key Midwest markets

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INDIANAPOLIS—For the fourth year running, the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA) is running a major consumer marketing campaign in the Midwest to drive more summer tourism business to Central Indiana.

The ICVA—the official destination sales and marketing organization for the city—launched a $1.2 million marketing campaign this week in five Midwest cities: Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis and Champaign. As in past years, the ICVA has worked with Strategic Marketing & Research, Inc. to determine target markets, advertising mediums, and messaging to boost leisure travel to Indianapolis. The campaign will run from May 14 to Aug. 6.

The target audience will be served up five new 30-second television commercials, a new 30-second radio spot, digital online advertising, traffic sponsor messaging, and even a marketing pitch via the popular music application, Pandora. In 2011, the ICVA’s comparably funded summer advertising campaign generated $165 million in incremental visitor spending over a four-month period, according to SMARI analysis.

“Indy is well known as a sporting event and convention destination, but we’ve also seen growth in our general tourism business after three summer leisure travel campaigns and hosting a Super Bowl,” said Leonard Hoops, president & CEO of the ICVA. “May kicks off our tourism season with the Indy 500 and all the festivities that lead up to it, and the crowds keep turning out through Labor Day to enjoy our green space and waterways, visit our museums and attractions, and enjoy the kind of shopping, dining and cultural arts you’d expect from one of the 12 largest cities in America.”

Chris Gahl, the ICVA’s vice president of marketing and communications, added, “In past years, our marketing campaigns have focused on one attraction in each ad. This summer, Indy is the star, with visits to partner attractions woven into the messaging. We’re a fun, friendly, affordable destination with a surprise around every turn for families and friends to discover.”

The summer marketing campaign partners include the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NCAA Hall of Champions, White River State Park, Indianapolis Zoo, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Conner Prairie, the Indiana Historical Society, and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Funding from those partners, as well as the White Family, Capital Improvement Board of Marion County, Eli Lilly & Company, and other community stakeholders, make the campaign possible.

The mission of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is to increase Indianapolis economic growth by strategically selling the destination to conventions, meetings, events, and leisure travelers. www.visitIndy.com.

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